Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Wakhan Corridor


The Wakhan Corridor is a slender area in the far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link between Afghanistan and China. The corridor was a political creation of the Great Game, and a result of agreements between Britain and Russia in 1873 and between Britain and Afghanistan in 1893. It currently has 12,000 inhabitants, who live very much the same as their ancestors did centuries ago.

In 2011, inspired by an article published by the New York Times, Fabrice Nadjari and Varial, two 33 year-old authors, photographers and childhood friends, decided to embark on a journey in the Wakhan region. It is here that they decided to take photographs of the inhabitants of the Wakhan villages. The portraits made with their Polaroid cameras developed odd hues, and their quality deteriorated quite rapidly due to the altitude.

The photographers also produced the Traces of Time book project (to be published in May 2012) which they claim "presents a vision between a current and tangible printed reality that already ceases to exist and an uncertain present resembling the past. This is the perspective of travellers who steal a snapshot of life and leave behind a trace that could change the lives of those they've passed."

As is seen in the trailer (listen to the haunting soundtrack!!) above, the photographers convinced Ismaili children, young women, and housewives, opium smokers, village chiefs and simple peasants to pose for their Polaroid cameras.

The show Wakhan, An Other Afghanistan will be featured at the MILK Gallery, 450 West 15th Street in New York (May 18-23, 2012).